Home sweet home and dry
Laura Bagshaw TOYS are scattered across a laminate floor and cherished photographs hang perfectly on a neatly-painted wall.This time last year it was hard to imagine that the Great Yarmouth home of Colin and Elaine Lunn could ever return to a state of normality.
TOYS are scattered across a laminate floor and cherished photographs hang perfectly on a neatly-painted wall.
This time last year it was hard to imagine that the Great Yarmouth home of Colin and Elaine Lunn could ever return to a state of normality.
Their Southtown home was reduced to nothing more than an empty shell of concrete floors and brickwork after the couple, along with their then baby daughter Georgia, were flooded out in September 2006.
And after a year-long battle with their insurance company - which had seen the family return to the Anson Road home only to move back out after a botched repair job - the Lunn family finally moved back for good in November last year.
Mrs Lunn, 35, said: “We cracked open a bottle of champagne. We just couldn't believe we were home.”
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During the near six-month repair job, the couple would often nip back to check on their property and the repair work.
Mrs Lunn said: “To me it seemed like slow progress. I just wanted to get home. But the builder did a great job.”
The family thought their ordeal was over in May 2007 when, after living in temporary accommodation for eight months, they returned home but had to move out again after mould spots appeared on the walls because the property had not been fully dried.
The couple entered a long-running battle with their insurance company and it was only when the Mercury became involved that the insurance company finally gave the go-ahead for the repair work to be carried out.
The family had been living in a rented house in Bradwell, with family pet Jack Russell Bonnie. Belongings packed in boxes were at the homes of relatives and most of their furniture was in storage.
During their two-year ordeal the family has also lived in accommodation in Belton, Yarmouth, Gorleston, Fritton and Scratby, but one of the hardest things for Mrs Lunn was giving up the pet cat, Thames.
“Thames was in a cattery for over a year because no rented home would take a cat. We eventually gave him up because it was not fair and he'd got so used to other people,” she said.
“There were times we thought we'd never get back and part of me is scared that something else will go wrong. But hopefully things are on the up for us,” said Mrs Lunn.
She added the couple had endured sleepless nights in fear of mould spots appearing on the wall again.
Mr Lunn, 42, had been forced to give up work during the ordeal due to ill health, and said it was a relief to finally have all their possessions under one roof.
“We found we had a lot of doubles, like two kettles and toasters, but it is nice to have our own things. It's not the same living in someone else's property,” said Mr Lunn. “The worst thing is not having stability in your life,” he added.
In fear of not being in their home for Christmas Mr and Mrs Lunn had made arrangements earlier in the year to spend Christmas with relatives in Hunstanton.
“We weren't sure whether we would be back in time so made other plans. We had a few decorations up but next year we will really go to town,” said Mrs Lunn.